I was back in Dubai last week for the second time in six months. A highlight of the trip for me was setting a new personal best in swimming. When it comes to the pool I am a disaster! I swallow more water than I would drink in a typical day and I am more tired at the end of a gentle 15 metres than when I used to compete in 400m sprinting. 

However, a small change in my technique (I introduced a pause after every few strokes to breathe) and I swam 100 metres, not far I know, but twice the length of my previous best set in October also in Dubai. I since learnt through watching a Tik Tok video that the problem with my swimming was I did not know that you are meant to breathe out while your head is in the water and only breathe in when you head comes out. I have told a few of my keen swimming clients this and they are like, “yeah, obviously!” 

The reason I mention this is because there are many parallels in this story to health & fitness. I have seen some magnificent transformations in health, fitness and body shape happen because of just one or two tiny changes. Just because most people know something, does not mean you know it. 

When it comes to my swimming, my main association with it, is swallowing water and choking on it. If this one bit of information to breathe out while my head is in the water stops this choking feeling then my whole experience of what swimming is well be changed forever. 

The same happens with health & fitness, I have seen people learn that fitness doesn’t have to hurt……then they begin to love exercise. Other clients understand that eating healthily doesn’t have to remove all of your bad foods all of the time….. then it becomes manageable. In some cases I have seen clients have the insight that they don’t have to lose weight unless they want to, that they are fine how they are today…… then they become inspired to change out of choice and not through resentment. 

It is for this reason I always start out at the most basic level, I assume the person before me knows nothing and are a disaster on all fronts. It is my job to help guide you from this lowest level base and build you up. There is no rush, it is simply just about going through the process as best you can. 

What Does This Mean To You? 

Do not be so quick to categorise yourself, or your prior track record, as a failure or anything that cannot be overcome. Small changes can create massive differences over time. You do not know where you could get to! The main problem is you do not know what you do not know! So it can be hard to see a different approach because you already think you know everything. Yet learning just 1 or 2 new things can turn everything on its head.

As mentioned regularly in this email and my book, most health & fitness knowledge usually needs you to learn it through action rather than simply from reading or listening to it. Embodied learning of a couple new bits of information for most people can change everything.  

Photo –  Some photos of me in Dubai and my 100m sea swimming pool – 

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